PC237 Optics Laboratory

This page is being updated for Winter 2018.

This is the Physics 237 Lab page, created and updated by Terry Sturtevant .
Page last updated Wednesday December 13, 2017
**Items marked this way are not final.**


Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, Week 6, Week 7, Week 8, Week 9, Week 10, Week 11, Week 12

Introduction

Evaluation Methods



Many optical properties can be determined in different ways.
For instance, the critical angle can be found in two ways, namely:
  1. where the refracted angle is 90°
  2. where the reflected light intensity is greater than 0
The Brewster angle can be found in three ways, namely:
  1. where the refracted angle is perpendicular to the incident angle
  2. where the reflected light intensity is a minimum
  3. where the reflected light is totally polarized
Furthermore, many properties are related to others. In particular, both the critical angle and the Brewster angle are related to the index of refraction.
In this lab, you are going to design an experiment to measure one of those angles. You're then going to test it.
After that you will refine it or try another method of determining it.
You'll then do the same thing for the other angle.
Finally, you'll compare the values from the index of refraction given by the two (or more) methods.
If you don't think you can improve on one or both of your methods, you can also measure the normal incidence reflectivity of the material since it is also related to the index of refraction.
 

Week 1: Introduction

In the lab: Optical effects exercise
For next week: Look up each term in question and write a description of what it means and a couple of sentences indicating the general principle for measuring it.
In the lab you will attempt to find equipment you can use for the purpose and try it out.
 

Week 2: Experiment prep

Pick one of the angles, and examine the equipment in the lab to come up with an experiment for measuring it one way.
For next week: Write up a procedure for doing the experiment and bring it to the lab with you.
 

Week 3: Perform experiment

Perform the experiment you devised.
For next week: Write up a lab report for the experiment and bring it to the lab with you.
 

Week 4: Experiment prep

Hand in lab report from last week.
For the other angle, examine the equipment in the lab to come up with an experiment for measuring it one way.
For next week: Write up a procedure for doing the experiment and bring it to the lab with you.
 

Week 5: Perform experiment

Perform the experiment you devised for measuring it.
For next week: Write up a lab report for the experiment and bring it to the lab with you.
 

Week 6: Revised experiment prep

Hand in lab report from last week.
Figure out how to improve the first experiment you did. This can be either by changing the way you did the original experiment, or by devising a new experiment to measure it one of the other ways.
For next week: Write up a procedure for doing the experiment and bring it to the lab with you.
 

Week 7: Perform experiment

Perform the experiment you devised for measuring it.
For next week: Write up a lab report for the experiment and bring it to the lab with you. Be sure to discuss whether/how the improvements you proposed worked.
 

Week 8: Revised experiment prep

Hand in lab report from last week.
Figure out how to improve the second experiment you did. This can be either by changing the way you did the original experiment, or by devising a new experiment to measure it one of the other ways.
For next week: Write up a procedure for doing the experiment and bring it to the lab with you.
 

Week 9: Perform experiment

Perform the experiment you devised for measuring it.
For next week: Write up a lab report for the experiment and bring it to the lab with you. Be sure to discuss whether/how the improvements you proposed worked.
 

Week 10: Compare and combine results

Hand in lab report from last week. Write up a comprehensive lab report that calculates that index of refraction from each of the experiemnts and compare the values. Discuss whether any of the experiments stood out as a better way to determine the index of refraction.
 

Week 11: Submit final report

Hand in report from last week.
 

Week 12

Get marked report from last week.

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